Limits can be liberating, as this cool retreat in Sri Lanka shows. It is built from materials found on and around the building site, including a pair of cargo containers and the deconstructed remnants of old wooden weapons boxes.

Designed by Damith Premathilake (photos by Logan MacDougall Pope, via Inhabitat), no skilled labor was required to construct this modest 700-square-foot waterfront retreat with associated porches and decks.

Created for all regional weather conditions, an open-but-shaded, second-story deck sits atop the rigid shell formed by the container, providing as much outdoor as interior space – well-suited to the tropical climate of the area.